Why October babies are more likely to see their 100th birthday

Bright fall foliage, warm pumpkin spice lattes, and spooky Halloween costumes all come to mind when thinking about October. And those cute newborns sporting ghost and ghoul costumes have a little-known history of living a long life.

Researchers from the University of Chicago compared data on people born between 1880 and 1895 who lived to be 100 or older to their siblings or spouses. The study found that people born in October are more likely to survive to 100 than those born in April. It also found that people born in September and November have higher chances of living a long life as well. Those born in March, May, and July, however, produced 40 percent fewer centenarians than other months. Another study, on people born in the Northern Hemisphere, found that fall babies lived longer than spring babies, too. Not born in October? Grab a book because this is why bookworms could live longer.

Why are October babies more likely to live to 100?

There are a few theories behind this research. One idea is that these babies were less exposed to certain seasonal illnesses since they avoided extreme high and low temperatures of summer and winter, according to Nesochi Okeke Igbokwe, MD, a physician and health expert. “Perhaps being born in the fall month of October created somewhat of a protective effect against exposure to seasonal illnesses that may ultimately impact one’s longevity,” Okeke-Igbokwe says. Still, researchers aren’t entirely sure why this is a trend and are still theorizing. We do know what your birth order reveals about you could be more telling.

What impacts how long you live?

There are plenty of other environmental factors that impact your centenarian status. Dietary habits, your level of physical activity, and avoidance of toxic habits like smoking are just a few things that may certainly contribute to longevity. “Essentially, there are a host of factors that may come into play that would make it more or less likely to reach the age of 100,” Okeke-Igbokwe says. There are a few simple rules to follow if you want to live to 100.

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Top 10 cities with the highest quality of living
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Top 10 cities with the highest quality of living

1. Vienna, Austria

Original caption: The Wiener Riesenrad, or Riesenrad, is a 64.75-metre (212 ft) tall Ferris wheel at the entrance of the Prater amusement park in Leopoldstadt, the 2nd district of Austria's capital Vienna. It is one of Vienna's most popular tourist attractions, and symbolises the district as well as the city for many people. Constructed in 1897, it was the world's tallest extant Ferris wheel from 1920 until 1985.

2. Zurich, Switzerland

3. Auckland, New Zealand

Original caption: Auckland Skyline Twilight - Auckland, New Zealand's largest city, under a dramatic twilight sky.

4. Munich, Germany

Original caption: Marienplatz (en: Mary's Square, i.e. St. Mary, Our Lady's Square) is a central square in the city centre of Munich, Germany. It has been the city's main square since 1158.

5. Vancouver, Canada

Original caption: Vancouver with False Creek in foreground and Grouse Mountain and the North Shore Mountains in background.

6. Dusseldorf, Germany

Original caption: View of the Skyline of Dusseldorf and the Rhine River

7. Frankfurt, Germany

8. Geneva, Switzerland

Original caption: Beautiful view of the water jet fountain with rainbow in the lake of Geneva and the cityscape of Geneva at sunset, Switzerland

9. Copenhagen, Denmark

Tie-10. Basel, Switzerland

Original caption: Mittlere Bridge in its current form was built in 1905, but its predecessor was one of the most important crossings of the Rhine. The first bridge was build in 1226 and the city was extended on the other side of the river just for securing the bridge. On the left of the image the St-Martin Church (14th century parish church) overlooks the beautiful waterfront houses. HDR image taken early in the morning with clouds clearing out after a stormy night.

Tie-10. Sydney, Australia

Original caption: Sydney, Australia - September 5, 2013: Beautiful Opera house view at twilight time with vivid sky and illumination on the bridge.

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